SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

March 8, 2013

Benton: Busy election season on the way in Danvers

(Continued)

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Here’s hoping both candidates in Tuesday’s special GOP state representative primary — winner Leah Cole and opponent Greg Bunn — stay involved in local politics.

The fewer than 1,000 voters who turned out to vote for either highlights to steep hurdles faced by Republicans in a traditionally Democratic city like Peabody. But in order for the party to become a real factor statewide, candidates must commit to staying involved for the long term.

An occasional Republican win in high-profile contests like those for governor or U.S. senator will not reverse Massachusetts’ image as a one-party state. The GOP needs a strong farm organization from which it can draw when there’s an opportunity to elect one of their own to the Legislature, Congress or statewide office.

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Could be the reason some Salem city councilors are opposed to meeting at the Salem Senior Center on Broad Street is that they don’t want more people realizing just how inadequate it is.

Of course, a vote against the administration’s proposal to build a new center at the corner of Boston and Bridge streets will mean more years of delay. More Witch City seniors may well live to see the Red Sox win another World Series than get to enjoy the long-promised new digs.

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Congressman John Tierney joined fellow Democrats this week in walking out of a House committee meeting at which Republicans advanced a bill consolidating federal job training programs.

“What should be a process designed to produce important reforms for our nation’s working families is now designed and timed to facilitate the Republican leadership’s public relations efforts to rebrand their party.” Tierney. Given their disastrous showing last November, Republicans are certainly in need of a rebranding campaign.

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Nelson Benton spent 40 years covering politics on the North Shore before retiring from The Salem News. Contact him at nelson.benton3@gmail.com.

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